Tips For Stunning Catalog Photos

in Product
Catalogs, both online and traditional paper versions, depend on high quality photographs to sell the products. Modern digital cameras allow even amateurs to take decent pictures, but they often aren't as good as those produced by commercial photographers. Professionals use techniques learned from years of experience to create breathtaking images.

Zoom In On The Details

Catalog customers can't get close to a product, and that can prevent them from being able to see the high quality of your merchandise. Successful catalogs include a number of views of the product so shoppers get a better idea of what they are buying. Close up photography lets the vendor highlight special features or exceptional workmanship of a product. It's a way to show customers why your product is better than competitors.

However close up photography can be difficult. Commercial photographers use a technique called macro photography to reproduce fine details of a subject with perfect clarity, a method that is challenging to inexperienced photographers. Almost all cameras have a macro setting, but producing the most effective catalog photos requires patience, persistence and practice.


Commercial photographers use lighting to bring out the fine points of a subject, but also to add mood to an image. Catalog photos aren't just meant to be informative. They should evoke a positive emotion from a customer and trigger an "I must have this" reaction. Bright light enhances detail, but can also wash out an image. The direction of light and the corresponding presence or absence of shadows has a strong effect on the message a viewer receives.

Photographic lights are white so they are neutral, but natural light has tones of yellow or red or other hues depending on it source. Color filters are often used by commercial photographers to change the quality of light to make it appear more natural or to enhance the natural colors of the subject.


Photographing a product against a neutral background means the viewer focuses on the subject and nothing else. However that doesn't necessarily send the strongest message. Cluttered pictures or busy backgrounds are distracting, but carefully chosen elements enhance a catalog image and make the product appear more attractive.

Commercial photographers use these other elements to enhance the perceived value of a product. A toy sells better if shown being played with by a happy child. A sofa seems more attractive when featured as part of a well-decorated living room. And, of course, advertisers know that products held by attractive models always seem to get more attention.

Adding these professional techniques to your catalog pictures helps you create more effective images. However they still don't take the place of a commercial photographer. Although technology has made it easier to take good pictures, photographers still need experience and skill to take great ones.
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Christine Harrell has 1 articles online

Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information about commercial photographer, please visit

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Tips For Stunning Catalog Photos

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This article was published on 2011/01/04